Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The challenge in watching ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’, at least if you’re over the age of eight, is to keep reminding yourself over and over again that this is a movie that is intended for children. You’re almost going to have to silently chant it – This is a movie for children… this is a movie for children… – just to preserve your sanity. Not that we don’t like kids movies as ‘Wall – E’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ would easily clear our top ten list for the best of 2008, that is if we did that kind of thing. And it’s not like we don’t like talking animal movies either. ‘Babe’ anyone? The thing about those kids’ movies is that if you happen to be a child between the ages of twenty to ninety nine, they still work their magic. ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua on the other hand… well let’s just say if you go to see this movie without a legitimate child attached your hip, you’re probably going to regret it since the only joy you’re going to get out of this movie is watching them enjoy themselves.

Chloe, voiced by Drew Barrymore, is as the title suggests is a Beverly Hills Chihuahua. This means that Chloe gets to wear expensive jewelry, designer clothes, lounge around the pool with her toy doggie friends, gets carried around in a doggie tote bag and eats the kind of food that would make your average homeless dudes head pop. Things in Chloe’s life are about to make a sudden and drastic change when her owner Aunt Vivian (Jamie Lee-Curtis) has to make a quick trip to Europe and leaves Chloe in the care of her spoiled, responsibility hating niece Rachel (Piper Perabo). When Rachel turns her head for just one little moment, the next thing you know Aunt Viv’s prize pup has found herself kidnapped and tossed in a dirty van on the way to Mexico City to an illegal dog fighting ring. I do question why come all the way to Los Angeles for stray dogs as I’m sure they are plentiful in Mexico, and also why go all the way to Mexico City for a dog fight when I’m sure there are a few local dog fights that can probably be found in the immediate region. There’s a certain jailed former NFL quarterback who can vouch for me on this.

So it looks like Chloe is all but finished when she gets tossed into the ring against the brutal Doberman El Diablo (voiced by James Edward Olmos), until she is rescued by the gruff but lovable German Shepherd Delgado (Andy Garcia) who does this good deed against his better judgment. Now stuck with Chloe, its road trip time for Delgado and his spoiled but good hearted companion as they try to make it back to Beverly Hills while being pursued by evil dognappers who think Chloe might fetch a glorious ransom. Meanwhile at the same time cousin Rachel, Sam the dashing Latin Landscaper (Manola Cardona) and his little Chihuahua Papi (George Lopez), who is madly in love with Chloe, traverse to Mexico in search of the missing pooch. Yes I know that the words ‘little’ and ‘Chihuahua’ are redundant but I have a word quota to meet here. Will Chloe survive this perilous trip and make back to her life of brie and Louis Vuitton? Some of us may wish she had never gotten lost in the first place.

This is a movie for children… this is a movie for children… So I didn’t care for ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua too much. In fact after the movie was over I actually walked back to the ticket counter and dropped coin to see another movie on the off chance that I die in a car accident on the way back home. You see I didn’t want ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua to be last movie I had ever seen. Harsh perhaps but this movie has almost nothing to offer the children’s movie genre. The story is strictly paint the numbers, all of the sentimentality is forced and contrived, there’s nothing even remotely original or clever or innovative in this movie, with the exception that this film did manage to give employment to a large number of Hispanic American actors… and maybe the city of talking Chihuahua’s. I think the cut-off age for this movie might be eight, but it possibly could be even lower.

But even though I’ve had more fun at some of my various root canals’s than I had at Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the movie was not without its charms I have to admit. Watching Piper Perabo bark on her cell phone was pretty darned funny and Andy Garcia really did a good job voicing Delgado, the tough German Shepherd with the heart of gold. And the whole Rat – Iguana thing was funny too, at least for a little while, but a talking rat can only take you so far.

But it really doesn’t matter what I think because as of the time of this writing BHC is virtually printing money. America has spoken with their wallets that they find dogs talking with Hispanic accents very amusing for some reason. Take notice competing Hollywood studios for ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ is what happens when you don’t give families looking for safe entertainment for our children any other viable alternatives. As Delgado looked into Chloe’s eyes as the movie was heading towards its conclusion, he told her ‘This isn’t goodbye, because I have the feeling I’ll be seeing you again’. Yeah, ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ pulling nine figures gives me that sinking feeling too Delgado.

Real Time Web